How to have sex mubi film

How to have sex: A Mubi film on sexual consent

We’re thrilled to announce the release of the film "HOW TO HAVE SEX" with MUBI Nederland directed by Molly Manning Walker. The film presents an authentic coming-of-age story, exploring the anxieties and complexities that young people encounter while navigating their first sexual experiences.

This film is a modern way to talk about consent and sexuality. Three teenage girls go on holiday drinking, smoking, dancing, and flirting at parties with new people they meet. The 3 girls want to have fun and talk about 'getting laid'. It depicts how sex at that age can sometimes feel like it is something that has to be 'done' and the feelings of peer pressure and FOMO that surround it.

A scene that struck us the most was when Tara (the main protagonist) lay on the beach silently as a boy she just met tried to have sex with her. Her silence did not mean she consented to his sexual advances. Like so many of us when we were inexperienced, we expected the other person to take charge and we were afraid to seem prude, shy, or even lame. If I were able to tell my younger self to experience my first sexual encounters differently, I’d tell myself, “It’s sexy and powerful to claim ownership of my body.”

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The main takeaway from the movie is the importance of consent and being able to voice that. So let’s dig deep into the various approaches to consensual sex.  The ongoing debate revolves around defining the boundary between consensual sex and sexual assault. Some argue for the traditional "no means no" approach, implying that silence implies consent, while others advocate for a new standard of "only yes means yes," requiring explicit consent.

We're here to affirm that the latter,  "yes means yes,"  is the true essence of consent. It's a straightforward concept: only an affirmative "yes" signifies consent. Embracing "Only Yes Means Yes" can rebalance power dynamics for women. Behaviors like playing hard to get or remaining silent can send misleading signals and undermine one's agency, whereas vocalizing consent reclaims ownership of one's body. This is a crucial lesson for parents to impart to their sons: obtaining a clear "yes" from their partners is essential, given the existing biases in understanding consent between genders.

In intimate relationships, the ideal scenario is mutual enthusiasm for every sexual encounter.  Enthusiastic consent should characterize each interaction, rather than feeling obligated or pressured to agree. While there's no universal approach to negotiating enthusiastic consent, here are some steps to ensure both partners feel happy and comfortable with their physical activities:

Obtain enthusiastic consent

  • Avoid vulnerable partners: When people are intoxicated, sexually inexperienced, in a new situation, or acting recklessly or immature, their physical and/or mental capacity to make informed sexual decisions is impaired or limited. The more vulnerable they are — and the more vulnerable they are than you — the greater the risk that they will feel coerced or regretful the next day.

  •  Establish reciprocal interest before engaging in physical touch:  Are they making eye contact? Are they smiling? Leaning in? Chatting excitedly? Or are they looking shy and nervous? Don’t just come out of nowhere and abruptly ask if you can kiss them, or worse, touch them. 

  • Negotiate consent verbally: Explicitly asking for permission is the most obvious way to escalate to physical touch, and the one most commonly discussed when enthusiastic consent is brought up:“May I kiss/touch/take your shirt off…” “Is it OK if I ____?” even to say, “I really want to ____!” you should be able to read and react based on the response. 
  •  Negotiate consent non-verbally:  We get it, always asking for “yes” can be a turn-off. The rule is to build up slowly and continue when it’s reciprocated and your partner isn’t shying away or tightening up. Don't just grab someone’s butt or thigh right away; start with something more non-intrusive such as the shoulder, back, or lightly graze their knee with yours. (Only do this when #2 is established) 

  •  Encourage your partner to say no, as well as yes: It’s not lame but rather caring and loving when you say, “Let me know whenever you’d like me to slow down or stop”, or “I really want you badly, but I also want to make sure you feel comfortable with me. So at any point, you don’t enjoy yourself anymore, I’ll do it.” Same as encouraging your partner to say “yes” during sexual acts as it can reinforce their enjoyment and for you to understand more about what they enjoy. 

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  1. Share your intentions and limitations: What are you looking for? If you’re not looking for a hookup, let them know. Don’t assume that the other person is on the same page as you! 

  2.  Let your partner know what type of consent works for you:  Do you like to take things slow? Do you have a hard time saying no? Are you the kind of person who likes to take things slow, be asked verbally before any escalation of physical closeness, and checked in with often? Tell them that. If you’re new to sex, or with a new partner, this might be the way to go. Or do you prefer the more traditional “only no means no” approach? Say “Feel free to explore my body without asking. I’ll let you know if something is uncomfortable.”

how to have sex consent
  1.  Provide continuous positive feedback:  You want it, so show it! Be sure to provide continued “yes” feedback. You can do this verbally, by saying things like “yes”, “that feels good”, “I like that”, and by telling your partner how and where to touch you. Or, you can do it nonverbally, by returning their kisses or touching your partner.

how to have sex consent

The entire narrative resonated deeply with us. We founded The Oh Collective from our own experiences of unenjoyable sexual encounters, prompting us to recognize the significance of communication, consent, and the importance of the clitoris to our female pleasure.

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